How Israel and Hamas weaponized social media

Ahmed Jabari never saw the missile that killed him. As he drove past parked cars and empty intersections on a leafy street in Gaza City in November 2012, a drone circling high overhead took aim at the roof of his nondescript sedan and fired.

In the chaos that followed, little did anyone know that reducing Jabari and his car to a cloud of shrapnel and dust marked the beginning of Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense. Within hours, the Israel Defense Forces made sure hundreds of thousands of people found out.

A senior Hamas military leader whom Israel accused of … Read more

Thunderbolt arrives in HP's mobile, desktop workstations

A strong ally has given Intel more support for Thunderbolt as Hewlett-Packard announced new workstation PCs that come with the high-speed connection technology.

Thunderbolt is useful for high-end machines with heavy-duty data-transfer demands such as fast external storage systems or video capture. It's built into all new Macs, if you include the next-gen Mac Pro, but it hasn't spread widely across the Windows market. During the Intel Developer Forum this week, though, HP announced its new workstations will have Thunderbolt support.

That includes the ZBook 15 and 17, machines that use the new Haswell generation of Core processors, … Read more

The Asus Zenbook packs the latest Intel processors and wraps it in a gorgeous, glass-topped body (hands-on)

BERLIN -- You're a smart young professional, flitting between your fancy office and your home in Milan. You have a first-class flight booked and you've got some work to do. What laptop could possibly look as good as you do in the first-class lounge but still packs enough power to let you work?

Asus thinks it has the answer in the form of the Zenbook UX301. Continuing the evolution of its ultrabook range, the 301 packs in the latest Intel processors and an ultra-high-definition display, topping it off with a gorgeous glass lid.

Asus hasn't confirmed pricing … Read more

Asus Transformer Book Trio lives up to name as combination tablet, laptop, and monitor (hands-on)

BERLIN -- Trio! I want a Trio and I want one now, as anyone who was a child in Britain in the 1980s is no doubt thinking every time they see the dual-booting Asus Transformer Book Trio.

The Trio was first glimpsed at computer show Computex earlier in the year, but the outer paper wrapper and shiny silver paper has been officially taken off at technology extravaganza IFA in Berlin this week to reveal the sweet, sweet chocolate of a laptop, the soft, soft toffee of an Android tablet, and the crunchy, crunchy biscuit of a desktop -- … Read more

Asus Transformer Book T300 is half laptop, half tablet, all Windows 8 (hands-on)

BERLIN -- What's better than a Windows 8 tablet? Pipe down, whoever said "any other tablet." The correct answer is a Windows 8 tablet that's also a Windows 8 laptop -- like the Asus Transformer Book T300.

Revealed at top technology show IFA 2013 in Berlin, the T300 is the latest hybrid tablet, which unclips the screen from the laptop to become a tablet, giving you the versatility of a full keyboard and the portability of a slate.

But if you want the best of both worlds, you'd better be feeling strong. Both keyboard and … Read more

Dell shows 8-inch Venue tablet sporting Windows 8.1

Dell brandished an 8-inch tablet running Windows 8.1 at Intel's annual developer conference on Wednesday.

The Venue branded tablet -- a resurrection of a brand name used for its defunct smartphone line -- will pack a Bay Trail quad-core processor, an IPS display (1,280x800), and Windows 8.1, a Dell spokeswoman told CNET.

It will also come with stylus and keyboard options.

More details will be announced on October 2 in New York.

Tablets with screen sizes of 8 inches may be the sweet spot for the first crop of Windows 8.1 tablets with Intel's … Read more

Join CNET on Wednesday for Asus' live media event at IDF

On Wednesday, Asus is hosting a media event in San Francisco and CNET will be there to bring you live coverage. Join me, my fellow CNET editor Xiomara Blanco, and photo man (or "photographer," as he prefers to be called) James Martin as we bring you on-point and insightful -- with equal doses of objectivity and good-natured pithiness -- coverage of the event.

This comes right smack-dab in the middle of IDF (Intel Developer Forum), so it's a good bet most of what we'll see will be of the Intel/Windows 8 (or 8.1) variety. … Read more

Israeli military to restrict soldiers' Facebook accounts

Fearing that enemy forces are gathering information on Israeli soldiers from social media, the Israel Defense Forces has decided to ban social networking for some high-ranking soldiers and severely limit it for others.

The IDF is in the middle of drafting a "social networking code of ethics" that will ban the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media for all highly classified units, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Other sensitive units, like pilots and intelligence officers, will be allowed to have social media accounts but won't be able to say they're soldiers or upload … Read more

Freaked out by Mideast militarization of social media? Don't be

Let's not act so shocked if Frankenstein's invention is on the loose.

A couple of days ago the Israel Defense Forces began live-tweeting as the newest round of hostilities broke out along Israel's already hot border with Gaza. The IDF Twitter stream included the video recording of a missile attack that killed Hamas military leader Ahmed Jabari, along with an in your face taunt: "We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead." For its part, the military wing of Hamas used its … Read more

Israel, Hamas using Twitter to report on Gaza skirmishes

Update: 1:42 PM PT The Israel Defense Force has been using Twitter to offer updates on the latest round of fighting along with border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

But Hamas is fighting back with its own volley in the information war. The organization's military wing is also using Twitter today as the pace of cross-border violence picked up. The sides have been locked in low-level violence for several days. The fighting intensified today following the assassination of Ahmed Jabri, a senior military leader accused by Israel of being responsible for several terror attacks.

A cyber sampler of … Read more